Division of Wildlife Resources officers removed a mountain lion from Helper Monday, May 17 after it had made a habit of preying on domestic pets. Its most recent victim was a house cat owned by the complainant.
Two weeks earlier, wildlife officials had received a report that a motorist on U.S. Highway 6 near Helper had hit a cougar. The motorist believed that the animal had been seriously injured. Conservation officers were unable to find the injured lion.
A week later, Helper residents reported seeing a cougar eating a skunk by the town's ballpark. According to DWR officials, this raised concerns about public safety. Conservation officers investigated, but failed to find the animal.
When officers were called to the scene by the complainant, they found the cougar with disabling injuries to its legs. Unable to run and catch wild prey, the cougar had been forced to ambush slow domestic animals.
The lion appeared emaciated and was in very poor condition. Officers euthanized the animal to end its suffering and to prevent further losses to pet owners or the potential for human injury or death.